Cinema 4D R11.5 review

Cinema 4D fills a technical and economic niche between the likes of quick modellers, such as SketchUp, and the full-blown power of Maya. It now runs faster, offering a quick, fluid modelling experience on Snow Leopard on our MacBook Pro. It also holds up well on Leopard on a Power Mac G5.

The Broadcast Edition we reviewed includes royalty-free video and audio clips, a library of 3D models and materials for news production, scene files for lower space thirds, over-the-shoulder graphics and title screens, and preset lighting and camera setups.

The motion-graphics capabilities of this edition centre on the MoGraph2 module. This includes MoDynamics, which harness the power of rigid body dynamics – so, for example, you can add gravitational effects to make a pile of boxes fall to the floor plane. The simulator can recognise which MoGraph objects (including Cloner and Instance) should have dynamic qualities applied.

Also in MoGraph2, PolyFX applies effectors to the individual polygons of an object, enabling quick and easy explosion effects, while MoSpline lets you clone existing splines and apply MoGraph’s newly enhanced effectors and forces to animate them.

This version also has bucket rendering, which uses each core in a multi-processor system to render a square region of the scene. The result is visibly faster rendering time, with greater optimisation of RAM.

There’s new support for Apple Motion’s 3D space, the ability to export solids to After Effects, and multiple 3D camera export in both.

The Picture Viewer has been revamped too. You can now compare a test render with previous versions from the history using the AB Compare Tool. With the amount of experimentation we did with MoGraph2, this was a real bonus.

OUR VERDICT

Other dynamics systems, such as the Nucleus system in Maya, may be more complex, but MoGraph2 is capable of some great effects when these new features are used in conjunction with traditional animation.

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